Jesse Ventura: ‘Our military has turned into contract killers’

By Muriel Kane
Sunday, June 17, 2012 19:58 EDT
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Jesse Ventura on CNN June 2012 screencap
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When former Minnesota Governer Jesse Ventura appeared with CNN’s Piers Morgan to promote a new book on Saturday, he was as outspoken as ever.

Ventura was particularly vocal about the effects of paying private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan more than our own soldiers. “They leave our military in droves,” he stated, “and go to like Blackwater — I don’t know what they call themselves now, they change their names around — and they go over there and they’re nothing but cowboys. They don’t follow any of the rules of war, they’re mercenaries, and that’s what we’re turning into today. Our military has turned into contract killers now, contract for hire.”

The one-time Navy SEAL went on to complain that even though President Obama is pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, “he’s leaving private contractors over there, a lot of them. He hasn’t closed Gitmo yet. He didn’t prosecute anyone for torture. We’re now a country known throughout the world, we torture people, and I’m ashamed of that.”

“We fly unmanned drones over Iran airspace,” Ventura continued. “No one gave us permission to do that. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. In our country, we believe we can do anything throughout the world, and if any of them people did that back to us, we would declare war on them immediately.”

When Morgan asked if it wasn’t naive to think that America, as the sole global superpower, doesn’t have to get involved in countries like Pakistan or North Korea, Ventura just snorted and replied, “So the U.S. is definitely threatened by these countries? In what way? They can’t shoot a rocket at us.”

“You notice that the United States doesn’t mess with anybody that’s got the nuke,” he observeded. “So we’re forcing countries like Iran to get the nuke so that we won’t mess with them. We don’t mess with nobody that’s got the nuke.”

“I believe the United States has changed today where we must be in a perennial war,” Ventura concluded, “and those perennial wars will bring us down just like the Roman Empire fell.”

This video is from CNN, June 16, 2012.

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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